A Media Year in Review

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March 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 3
A Media Year in Review John F. Dombrowski, M.D., Chair Committee on Communications

2012 marked a busy year for anesthesiology in the news. As chair of the Committee on Communications, I saw several topics make local and national headlines, including drug shortages, prescription drug overdoses, scope-of-practice issues and the meningitis outbreak. Special thanks to all members who served as spokespeople throughout the year to share ASA’s perspective with consumer and trade media outlets. These spokespeople helped advance the specialty of anesthesiology to the general public.

Over the past year, the ASA Advocacy and Public Relations teams aligned efforts to develop and maintain ties with key health care reporters. As a result, ASA became a go-to resource and expert for several media outlets, including Becker’s ASC Review, New York Times, Politico and the Wall Street Journal.

Inaugural Media Resource Center
To better accommodate journalists, ASA launched its first-ever online Media Resource Center for the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2012 annual meeting. The center served as one-stop shop for reporters, providing them with easy access to press kits, office biographies, and downloadable logos and images. As a result, more than 65 published articles featured news from the meeting.

National Radio and Print Coverage
ASA spread critical patient safety messages across national airwaves in 2012. Radio announcements informed listeners on how the administration, monitoring and reversal of anesthesia are complicated medical procedures that require physician expertise. ASA also appeared in a syndicated article picked up by more than 1,270 media outlets, which featured tips on how patients can help ensure the best surgical outcomes.

Journal Press Release Program
Through the ASA/Anesthesiology Journal Press Release Program, the Society also has been viewed by media outlets as a leader in research, science and technology. Each month, ASA develops press releases on select studies from Anesthesiology. Several top-tier media outlets reported on these studies in 2012, including HealthDay, Outpatient Surgery Magazine, Same-Day Surgery, Time magazine and U.S. News & World Report.

Public Education Campaign
In partnership with the Iowa Society of Anesthesiologists (ISA), ASA launched a public education campaign in July 2012 to help put the minds of Iowa residents at ease about the risks of anesthesia. As a state that suffers from some of the highest rates of heart disease and diabetes in the country, the campaign helped promote and support Iowa’s goal to become the healthiest state in the nation.

ASA recently partnered with a communications agency to advance the strategic position of anesthesiology among the public, health care community and policymakers. Throughout the remainder of 2013, ASA will be committed to further enhancing its role in the public eye as related to several important issues, such as scope of practice, the Perioperative Surgical Home™ model for coordinated care and physician-led pain care.

Do you have questions about ASA’s communications initiatives? Please contact communications@asahq.org.

John F. Dombrowski, M.D. is Medical Director, Anesthesiology Assistant Program, Case Western Reserve, and Director, Washington Pain Center, Washington, D.C. He is a member of the ASA Board of Directors.